Is drug addiction a medical problem?

drug addiction

Drug addiction can impact an individual’s relationships, an individual’s academic and career goals, along with their health, their finances and their life in general. Some members of the rehab community and medical profession espouse that drug addiction is a medical problem that stems from an incurable brain disease that is somehow genetically inherited. The truth is, there is no empirical evidence to support this rationale.

Proponents of the disease theory claim that the brain suffers changes from drug use, and therefore, it must be a disease. While the brain may experience certain changes from drug use, the science of neuroplasticity proves that the brain can rewire itself once the drug use is stopped. The plastic brain can form new neuronal pathways when substance use is replaced with other activities and behaviors. An individual who has leukemia or cancer, for example, cannot stop their disease voluntarily, and the treatment associated with leukemia or cancer, such as chemotherapy or radiation, has lasting effects on their body.

Non 12 Step VS 12 Step

12 step based rehab programs promote the idea that drug use is a disease and teach substance users that they are powerless over their substance use. They use labels such as addict and alcoholic and teach their members that the only treatment available to them is belief in a higher power, abstinence, and 12 step support group meetings for the rest of their lives. 12 steps also endorse the idea that drug addiction is a medical problem.

Conversely, non-12 step programs promote choice and empowerment. Non-12 step programs educate people that there is no addiction disease, that substance usage is a choice, and that people have the power within them to make the decision not to use drugs or alcohol.

Substance users have options available to them that enable them to live a life that is free from substance use. They may need to detoxify, depending on the type of substance they have been using, the amount they have been using, and the duration of their drug use. Whether a substance user needs detox or not, it is highly recommended to enroll in a non-12 step substance use program to offer the best chance of success. Like all behaviors, even those that have become habitual, each person has the power to change them.

A True Solution For Substance Use

St. Jude Retreats offers a six week, non-12 step residential program that teaches guests the truth; that there is no disease that has rendered them powerless over drugs or alcohol. The Saint Jude Program guides a person through a process of self assessment and self-analyzation. Substance users reevaluate their decisions and learn how to make choices that are productive, and how to develop habits and behaviors that are positive for a life that is permanently free from drug use.